Chihuly is widely known for his architectural sculptures. One of his main inspirations are conservatories and botanical gardens. In 2001, he set up his first botanical exhibition at the Garfield Park conservatory in Chicago which led to a series of Garden projects, including one close to home in 2005, at Kew Gardens in London. Being so close to Kew gardens I decided to go and be inspired myself. As I am a lot better at drawing from what I can see rather than from imagination, visual research for me is alway vital for my later design developments. As I also decided to use botanical drawings as my archive for this project, I took the opportunity to visit Kew Gardens library and archive where I was recommended books on both botanical drawings and Textiles artists who were also inspired by flowers and plants.
A lot of Chihuly’s work is inspired by sea life. What I love about sea life as a source of inspiration, are the amazing patterns and colours you can find, whether it is a pattern from fish scales or from the natural lines within sea plants. My attention went more towards sea shells at the beginning, keeping in mind that I could possibly stylise them later on. Whilst observing more and more the patterns I started picking out key designs and colours that I liked. Chihuly’s cylinders are very decorative as well and reflect really well the natural patterns from the sea. That’s why, later on, I went on to look at where the designs for his cylinders originate from. A more in-depth view at these will be posted on my next sketch board.
As I have mentioned before, this term we were given a brief from the Hand and Lock 2016 embroidery competition, for which I choose to study the work of glass sculptor, Chihuly. As I was particularly unsatisfied with my sketchbook and was afraid that my thought process wasn’t clear enough to others, I decided instead to start working on loose papers and create pinboards, in other terms make “Sketchboards”. The boards are sectioned chronologically and in themes, visually showing the steps I am taking towards my final designs. This first pinboard is composed of my primary research of Chilhuly. When studying his work, I found that there were several different areas I could look into, his work in the botanical gardens, his sea life inspired cylinders and his colourful paintings.